Government Funding Legislation Prioritizes Conservation Programs
The US Senate and House of Representatives have passed legislation to fund the federal government, including funding for several critical conservation programs. In particular, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), one of DU’s highest priority programs, received record funding of $50 million.
“The record funding for NAWCA is a home run for the most successful wetland conservation program in the nation,” said DU Executive Director Adam Putnam. “DU and our partners have worked with this Congress from start to finish to ensure that critical conservation programs like NAWCA remained a priority, and the end-of-year funding reflects that. We are grateful to our legislator friends from both parties who recognize the immense value of conservation, and we look forward to shifting these dollars into the landscape for the benefit of wildlife, people, and our environment.”
NAWCA is a voluntary matching grant program that leverages federal and non-federal funds for wetland restoration. Since its enactment in 1989, the NAWCA has conserved more than 30 million acres and created an average of 7,500 new jobs per year. Every dollar spent by the federal government, on average, receives a $3 match from program partners like Ducks Unlimited. Further demonstrating the effectiveness of investments made by wetland programs like NAWCA, the recent State of the Birds report revealed widespread bird losses in all habitats except wetlands.
The legislation also includes the Charitable Conservation Easements Integrity Act, which stops the abuse of syndicated conservation easements and reserves deductions for genuine charitable conservation purposes. Also included were important policy provisions from the Incremental Climate Solutions Act and the USDA’s Sponsorship of Sustainability Targets in Agriculture to Incentivize Natural Solutions (SUSTAINS) Act.
Notable conservation programs receiving funding:
- North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) – $50 million
- Partners for Fish and Wildlife: $60.2 million
- Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) – $368 million
- Delaware River Watershed Conservation Act – $11.5 million
- Chesapeake Bay Program – $92 million
- Chesapeake WILD Program: $8 million
- North American Waterfowl Management Plan/Joint Venture Programs – $16.8 million
- National Wildlife Refuge System – $541.5 million
- State and Tribal Wildlife Grant Programs: $73.8 million
- Assistance to rice farmers – $250 million
- NRCS Conservation Operations: $941.1 million
For more information, visit www.ducks.org and be sure to follow DU’s Twitter feeds: @DucksUnlimited and @DUConsmerve – For the latest Ducks Unlimited news.
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America’s continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 15 million acres thanks to the contributions of more than one million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of enough wetlands to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow, and forever. To learn more about our work, visit www.ducks.org.